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My latest project is another 54mm historical figure. This one is a Northumbrian warrior from Latorre. It's a really nicely done sculpt, although perhaps a bit on the simple side in terms of gear. I decided to add a bit to him, so I swapped the shield out of his left hand and slung it onto his back (adding a photo etch belt so it looked like something was holding it in place). I wanted to put something else in his left hand, so I went through my bits box and settled on a war horn I had left over from the Sorondil project. I'm attempting to create an overall cold feel to this figure, so I'm planning to use a lot of cool colors (blues, greens, purples) and give him a winter base. It's causing me to make some minor adjustments to my normal mixes and rethink a few things. Here's a quick look at how he's come together so far. Last night I finished the main color for the tunic. I'm now starting on a pattern for the border. Just put in the lower edge and then marked off dots for the top edge so I could keep the spacing consistent. I'll be filling the space in between with a geometric pattern, so using these sorts of guide marks will be key to getting everything to look uniform in the end. For the metals on this guy I used the Scale75 metallic paints and their inks. I always paint the metals over a dark base. Normally for iron I'd do something like a black or dark brown, but since I'm going for a cold feel I used a dark blue. On top of that I start by laying down a dark metallic base coat (left image). Here I used Scale75's black metal mixed with Reaper's Pure Black and Ritterlich Blue. I used equal parts metallic and pure black, then maybe a third that amount of the blue. The matte colors tone down the shininess of the metal and help to keep those darker areas dark. Into that I start to mix in a lighter metallic tone, in this case Heavy Metal, to create the highlights. I gradually work up to pure Heavy Metal, applying in smaller and smaller areas (top surfaces and edges). I repeat the same process for the yellow metals. In this case I used Scale75's Necro Gold with Reaper's Burgundy Wine and some Ritterlich Blue. Into that I mixed Elven Gold and, at about 2 parts Elven Gold to 1 part Necro/Burgundy/Blue I started to mix in Thrash Metal. That's a paler highlight and keeps it from getting too yellow. This is the middle image. Note that while the shadows where a mix of matte and metallic paint, the highlights are pure metallic so they are much more reactive with the light. At this point the metals look pretty decent but there is one more step. I take a number of the Scale75 inks and apply a series of glazes to add hints of color and further develop the shadows. You can use a lot of different colors, however for the feel I want I stuck with blue, purple, and black inks. The effect is subtle, but compare the right image (with glazes) to the middle image (without) and you can see the shadows are a bit stronger and the color is a little more interesting.
I needed a break from my samurai project, so I decided to work on this dwarf pirate from M Proyec. It's a little bit bigger than the standard gaming figure, roughly 46mm to the eyes. I wanted a slightly less natural skin tone, so I mixed in some Burgundy Wine with the Rosy Shadow, then some Vampiric Shadow with Fair Skin and Vampiric Skin with Fair Highlight. It created a paler, colder skin. I still want to go in with glazes to add more color variation and reinforce the shadows, but that will wait until after I do the hair. The coat is a dull red I created using a 3 to 2 mix of Violet Red with Dark Elf Highlight for the base. It's shaded with Burgundy Wine and highlighted with a 50/25/25 mix of Fire Red, Dark Elf Highlight, and Vampiric Shadow. The final highlights are made by adding in a bit more Vampiric Shadow to that mix. The pants are still a work in progress. I began by sketching in the stripes, then I did most of the shading and highlighting on the white (cleaning up the stripes as I went). The blue stripes still need shading and highlighting though. For the comparison, the first image is the coat with shading and midtone, but no highlight. The bandanna also is just a dark base. The rest of the images shows it with those sections completed. Makes it much easier to see the difference the increased contrast of the highlights makes.